Home | Shuttle Official Flight Kits | Shuttle Flag & Patch Presentations | Heatshield Presentations


Presented here are examples spacecraft heatshield presentations, represented by a photo guide and a rough classification outlined below. The initial mission is to document those presentations which were made at the time of the mission or by a museum during restoration efforts. Presentations originating from the collections of astronauts, NASA employees, and primary contractors are the first to be added.

As there is no prior comprehensive guide, these photos are intended to encourge further discussion and the site will be updated periodically as new information is discovered and reviewed. Already in process for update in the near future are several sections, including homemade presentations, the Space Shuttle TPS, and photos of modern style presentations.

Futher reading about types of lucites can be found on collectSPACE.

Please feel free to send in photos of different styles or other presentations you've seen for inclusion in the archive.





Proposed Classification
[Style] + [Type] + [Lettering]

Style of Presentation
P = "Puck" - Heatshield section or plug encased in cylinder shaped lucite.
C = "Capsule" - Heatshield section or plug encased in capsule shaped lucite.
B = "Block" - Heatshield section or plug encased in a square, rectangular, trapezoidal, trianglur, etc. shaped lucite.
S = "Sliced" - Heatshield section or plug encased in a sliced cylinder (e.g. shaved cone) shaped lucite.
N = Non-Encapsulated or "Raw" - Heatshield section not encased in lucite.

Type "P"
P1 = Lucite cylinder, no base.
P2 = Lucite cylinder, lucite base.
P3 = Lucite cylinder, wood base.

Type "B"
B1 = Lucite block, no base.
B2 = Lucite block, lucite base.
B3 = Lucite block, wood base.
B4 = Lucite block, stone base.

Type "C"
C1 = Mercury shaped capsule, rounded nose.
C2 = Mercury shaped capsule, flat nose.
C3 = Gemini shaped capsule, smooth surface, without adapter section.
C4 = Gemini shaped capsule, detailed surface, with adapter section.
C5 = Apollo shaped capsule, half.
C6 = Apollo shaped capsule, full.

Type "S"
S1 = Lucite sliced cylinder, no base.
S2 = Lucite sliced cylinder, wood base.

Type "N"
N1 = Wood base, information plaque.
N2 = Lucite base, information plaque.
N3 = No base, information plaque.

Lettering / Presentation Text
Note: Organizations listed below not necessarily who manufucated the presentation itself, but instead which organization was known to have presented it to original recipient.

A = NASA   

B = NASA    
                             [*Note: an instance of a number "1" which includes a serif/upstroke on MA-9 presentation.]

E = Black lettering on gold plaque   

F = Black lettering on gold plaque   

G = Black lettering on gold plaque   


H = McDonnell Aircraft   


J = North American Rockwell   

K = North American Rockwell   

L = North American Rockwell   


N = None / No text on presentation

T = Kansas Cosmosphere

X = Non-standard or special font/writing used for only one or two missions.



In addition to the photo guide, presented here is a more detailed look into the design and construction of the Mercury capsule heatshield.


       



Mercury-Redstone 1AUnmanned TBD
Mercury-Redstone 2Ham (Chimp) TBD
Mercury-Atlas 2Unmanned P2H
Mercury-Atlas 3Unmanned TBD
Mercury-Redstone 3Alan Shepard TBD
Mercury-Redstone 4Gus Grissom P1X  
Mercury-Atlas 4Unmanned P1B
B1B
Mercury-Atlas 5Enos (Chimp) P1A  
Mercury-Atlas 6John Glenn P1A  
P1B
P1X
P2N  
B3B   
Mercury-Atlas 7Scott Carpenter P1B  
P1B
N1G  
N1X  
Mercury-Atlas 8Wally Schirra P1A  
P1X
N1G  
Mercury-Atlas 9Gordon Cooper P1B*  
P2A
C1B     
C2E  
P3B  
B3B



In addition to the photo guide, presented here is a more detailed look into the heatshield core samples removed from each Gemini mission.

Note that all information is approximate based on best available photos and measurements taken outside of the protective museum displays.

 Excel File - Gemini Heatshield Core Samples

             


Gemini 2Unmanned P1A   
P3A  
P1X
B1X
Gemini 3Gus Grisson
John Young
P1B    
C3H      
Gemini 4Jim McDivitt
Ed White
P1A  
B3X  
Gemini 5Gordon Cooper
Pete Conrad
P1A  
P1B   
P1B  
Gemini 7Jim Lovell
Frank Borman
P1A  
P1B   
C3H  
C3H  
B1X
B3F
Gemini 6AWally Schirra
Tom Stafford
P1A  
P1B  
P1B
C3H   
B3F


First RendezvousGemini 7

Gemini 6A
B1A    
Gemini 8Neil Armstrong
David Scott
P1A
P1B  
B1B
C3H      
C3H   
N1G  
N1G
C4E    
B3X
C4X   
C4X
B3F
N3X  
Gemini 9ATom Stafford
Gene Cernan
P1B      
P1B   
P1B
C3H
Gemini 10John Young
Michael Collins
P1B       
Gemini 11Pete Conrad
Richard Gordon
P1B  
C3H   
C3H  
C4H   
B3F  
Gemini 12Jim Lovell
Buzz Aldrin
P1B      
C3H   
C3H      
Gemini B MOLUnmanned B3X  
S2X     
B3F   



In addition to the photo guide, presented here is a more detailed look into the design and construction of the Apollo Command Module heatshield.


       
 
       
         
         
 



AS-201Unmanned

Ablator Test
(Qual for Low Earth
Orbit Re-entry)
C5K   
C5J   
C5K   
B1X        
B1X
Apollo 4Unmanned

Ablator Test
(Qual for Lunar
Flight Re-entry)
B1J   
B1K  
B1K  
N1G  
Apollo 6Unmanned

"Sideburns" Ablator Test
(Potential weight savings)
B1B
       [Avco honeycomb type from ablator umbilical test.]

B1B   
       [Foam type from ablator umbilical test.]

B1B
       
       

       [Foam, balsa wood, and Avco honeycomb types from ablator window test.]

B1X   
Apollo 7Schirra
Eisele
Cunningham
C5K   
C5K  
B1J  
Apollo 8Borman
Lovell
Anders
B1B
P1B   
P1B    
P3B
C5K
C5K  
C5K  
C5K      
N3K
C6K   
C6K  
C6K  
C6K   
B1K
B1K
B1K    
B1K  
Apollo 9McDivitt
Scott
Schweickart
P1B
C5K  
N3K
Apollo 10Stafford
Young
Cernan
P1B  
P1B    
C5K  
C5K     
N3K
B1T       
Apollo 11Armstrong
Collins
Aldrin
P1B      
P3B      
P1B      
P1B    
C6K   
B4X   
Apollo 12Conrad
Gordon
Bean
P1B       
P1X  
P3B  
C6X
Apollo 13Lovell
Swigert
Haise
P1B      
P3B   
Apollo 14Shepard
Rossa
Mitchell
S1X    
Apollo 15Scott
Worden
Irwin
C6X    
B3X
Apollo 16Young
Mattingly
Duke
P1B      
B4L  
Apollo 17Cernan
Evans
Schmitt
P1B       
B1L   
B1X   
Apollo-Soyuz Test Project
(ASTP)
Stafford
Brand
Slayton
Leonov
Kubasov
P1B     
B4L  
Skylab IIConrad
Kerwin
Weitz
P1B       
P1B  
Skylab IIIBean
Garriott
Lousma
P1B     
Skylab IVCarr
Gibson
Pogue
P1B    



The Apollo/Skylab Command Module aft heatshield uses 59 bolts to attach the shield to the spacecraft and an ablative plug is placed in the ablative material to cover and protect the bolts. Each plug is unique and its specific location number is engraved on the metal bottom, identifying which bolt it is designed to cover. After the mission, all plugs are cored out of the aft heatshield so that the shield may be removed and inspected by engineers and technicians. The plugs are then encapsulated in plastic and distributed by NASA to astronauts and space workers as a memento of the mission. An example of a NASA memo detailing these presentations for the Skylab missions can be found here. The tradition of encasing complete plugs, instead of smaller sections thereof, began with Apollo 11 and carried through the remainder of the program. All complete plugs seen up to this point from Apollo 7, 8, 9 and 10 have not been encased.

The aft heatshield plugs are all the same diameter but vary greatly in height based on the ablator thickness in that region of the command module, with the shortest at 1.25" high (ex. #52) and the tallest at 2.75" high (ex. #8).

Please feel free to send in photos of numbers not yet represned in the table below for inclusion in the archive.


         
     



#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

#6

#7

#8

#9

#10

#11

#12

#13

#14

#15

#16

#17

#18

#19

#20

#21

#22

#23

#24

#25

#26

#27

#28

#29

#30

#31

#32

#33

#34

#35

#36

#37

#38

#39

#40

#41

#42

#43

#44

#45

#46

#47

#48

#49

#50

#51

#52

#53

#54

#55

#56

#57

#58

#59

Example engraving
of plug #37 from
Apollo 13



Below is a summary of the individual numbered aft heatshield plugs sold publicly. Each line represents a distinctly different plug, and only the initial sale has been recorded to document the original owner of each number, where possible. Some of the presentations are still with their original owners and/or have been on public display. Please feel free to send in photos of numbers not yet represned in the table below for inclusion in the archive.

MissionPlug #Original OwnerRoleNotesSold By or Current LocationSold Date
Apollo 7#15John HirasakiNASA MSC, Landing & RecoveryNAA Tag, Not EncasedIra & Larry Goldberg AuctionsJuly282019
Apollo 8#24John HirasakiNASA MSC, Landing & RecoveryNAA Tag, Not EncasedIra & Larry Goldberg AuctionsJuly282019
Apollo 9#46John HirasakiNASA MSC, Landing & RecoveryNAA Tag, Not EncasedIra & Larry Goldberg AuctionsJuly282019
Apollo 10#10John HirasakiNASA MSC, Landing & RecoveryNAA Tag, Not EncasedIra & Larry Goldberg AuctionsJuly282019
Apollo 10#12Al BishopRCA, General DynamicsNot Encased, Has #54 Crossed OuteBayMay122018
 
Apollo 11#09   Aurora AuctionsOctober22004
Apollo 11#12John HirasakiNASA MSC, Landing & RecoveryNAA Tag, Not EncasedIra & Larry Goldberg AuctionsJuly282019
Apollo 11#51Deke SlaytonNASA Chief AstronautWood Base w/ PlaqueIra & Larry Goldberg AuctionsJuly102011
Apollo 11#53Neil ArmstrongNASA Astronaut, Mission CDRWood Base w/ PlaqueHeritage AuctionsNovember152019
Apollo 11#59Neil ArmstrongNASA Astronaut, Mission CDRWood Base w/ PlaqueHeritage AuctionsJuly162019
Apollo 11#?Neil ArmstrongNASA Astronaut, Mission CDRWood Base w/ PlaqueStill w/ Armstrong Air & Space Museum (Wapakoneta)N/A  
Apollo 11#?Owen MaynardNASA MSC, Chief EngineerAdd-on NameplateStill w/ Canadian Air & Space Museum/Conservancy (Toronto)N/A  
Apollo 11#?George HageNASA MSC, Deputy Director Apollo ProgramName applied with tapeStill w/ Museum of Flight (Seattle)N/A  
Apollo 11#?   Aurora AuctionsNovember82003
Apollo 11#?   eBayFebruary162011
 
Apollo 12#04Pete ConradNASA Astronaut, Mission CDR From Conrad FamilyFebruary172017
Apollo 12#08Alan BeanNASA Astronaut, Mission LMPWood Base w/ PlaqueBonhamsApril212015
Apollo 12#22Kenneth KleinknechtNASA MSC, Apollo Manager Sotheby'sJuly202019
Apollo 12#40Pete ConradNASA Astronaut, Mission CDR Heritage AuctionsNovember112016
Apollo 12#52Richard GordonNASA Astronaut, Mission CMP Heritage AuctionsNovember102017
Apollo 12#?Pete ConradNASA Astronaut, Mission CDRWood Base w/ PlaqueStill w/ Conrad FamilyN/A  
Apollo 12#?Richard GordonNASA Astronaut, Mission CMPWood Base w/ PlaqueIra & Larry Goldberg AuctionsApril172010
 
Apollo 13#05Al BishopRCA, General Dynamics eBaySeptember262014
Apollo 13#12Jack SwigertNASA Astronaut, Mission CMP Nate D. SandersNovember202014
Apollo 13#27Deke SlaytonNASA Chief Astronaut Ira & Larry Goldberg AuctionsJuly102011
Apollo 13#29Jim LovellNASA Astronaut, Mission CDRGifted to Lovell family doctorHeritage AuctionsNovember142019
Apollo 13#37Jack SwigertNASA Astronaut, Mission CMP Nate D. SandersMay292014
Apollo 13#44Jack SwigertNASA Astronaut, Mission CMP Nate D. SandersJuly312014
Apollo 13#?Fred HaiseNASA Astronaut, Mission LMPWood Base w/ PlaqueChristie'sJuly182019
Apollo 13#?Jim LovellNASA Astronaut, Mission CDRWood Base w/ PlaqueStill w/ Lovell Family, Lovell's of Lake Forest restaurant (Chicago)N/A  
Apollo 13#?Jim LovellNASA Astronaut, Mission CDR Heritage AuctionsOctober72008
Apollo 13#?Jim McDivittNASA Astronaut, Program Office Novaspace, Astronaut Central Garage SaleMarch302013
Apollo 13#?   Aurora AuctionsNovember82003
 
Apollo 16#22John YoungNASA Astronaut, Mission CDR From Young FamilyDecember242018
Apollo 16#23John YoungNASA Astronaut, Mission CDRSigned by YoungHeritage AuctionsApril12009
Apollo 16#39   Ira & Larry Goldberg AuctionsJuly232016
Apollo 16#42John YoungNASA Astronaut, Mission CDRSigned by YoungHeritage AuctionsOctober82009
Apollo 16#48 NASA Still w/ ownerN/A  
Apollo 16#52John YoungNASA Astronaut, Mission CDR From Young FamilyDecember242018
 
Apollo 17#26 NASA Flight Director Ira & Larry Goldberg AuctionsJune302018
 
Skylab II#03   Ira & Larry Goldberg AuctionsJuly232016
Skylab II#09Bill E. Platt Jr.NASA Flight Director From Platt estateNovember202019
Skylab II#45Pete ConradNASA Astronaut, Mission CDR From Conrad FamilyFebruary172017
Skylab II#?Paul WeitzNASA Astronaut, Mission PLT Swann Auction GalleriesMarch312007
Skylab II#?Bruce McCandlessNASA Astronaut, Backup PLT Heritage AuctionsNovember142019
 
Skylab III#08   eBayNovember32017
Skylab III#14Arthur R. WhiteNASA Project Manager, Skylab Still w/ ownerN/A  
Skylab III#30Donald PuddyNASA Flight Directorw/ NASA memoIra & Larry Goldberg AuctionsJune302012
Skylab III#45Neil HutchinsonNASA Flight Director From Hutchinson via Farthest ReachesOctober132016
Skylab III#?Deke SlaytonNASA Chief Astronaut Ira & Larry Goldberg AuctionsJuly102011
Skylab III#?Philip CulbertsonNASA, Manager Mission Planning eBayJuly112011
Skylab III#?   eBayFebruary142011
Skylab III#?   Regency SuperiorOctober142011
 
Skylab IV#40   eBayJuly282018
Skylab IV#?William PogueNASA Astronaut, Mission PLT Astronaut Scholarship Foundation AuctionNovember92013
 
ASTP#33Neil HutchinsonNASA Flight Director From Hutchinson via Farthest ReachesMarch202016
ASTP#52Ray LarsonRockwell VP, Chief Engineer Clars Auction GalleryDecember172017
ASTP#?Deke SlaytonNASA Chief Astronaut Ira & Larry Goldberg AuctionsJuly102011



Below is a summary of the presentations that contain material from multiple missions.





Mercury-Atlas 6


Gemini 4


Apollo 6
Glenn

White
McDivitt

Unmanned
N1X  
                               




Mercury-Atlas 9


Gemini 8


Apollo 11
Cooper

Armstrong
Scott

Armstrong
Aldrin
Collins
C2/C4/C6   
(Note that Apollo 11 plaque text reads "Mickail" instead of "Michael")


STS-1Young
Crippen
Elevon Ablator Test
(Changed to Tile Post STS-5)
B3X  
B3X


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This page last modified: 01/08/2020
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